Saugerties, NY - At 7:30 a.m. Friday morning it was a brisk but beautiful 46 degrees at the 2011 NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage and 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championships. Twenty-four Para-Equestrians competed in the CPEDI3* with riders from U.S.A., Ireland, Canada, Mexico, and Bermuda. Grade Ia, Ib, II, and III were dominated by United States riders. James Dwyer of Ireland and his horse Orlando earned the Grade IV win. With the tough competition of the CPEDI3* and the National Championships hanging over the United States Para-Equestrians, the U.S.A still excelled over the rest. It may be September, but these riders are preparing and building their team for 2012 when London hosts the 2012 Paralympics.
Friday's competition for the CPEDI3* consisted of the same scoring style as the Paralympics, the Team and Individual score of each team rider will be combined and averaged. The lowest averaged number will be dropped from each team's score and a final tally will be conducted. The 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship scores are calculated with the team competition representing 40% of the total score, Saturday's Freestyle representing 20% followed by Sunday's Individual classes earning the last 40%. For many equestrians, this is a weekend not about scores but about first time rides, first time shows, and first time travels.
Dale Dedrick a retired Orthopedic Surgeon from Ann Arbor, Michigan is a brand new rider to Para-Equestrian Dressage. On Friday in the Team test, where Dale rode as an individual, she earned a top score of 70.079% in Grade II topping her division. Dedrick was happy with Bonifatius' progress and performance for his first day out. She noted, "Bonifatius is a great horse and he has phenomenal gates. The test today was not my best test but it was a good test." Since being introduced to the Para-Equestrian world Dedrick has utilized a training program that fits her inability to tolerate a lot of activity for a duration of time. She explained, "Since I have a pacemaker, I can't tolerate a lot of activity. Therefore, I ride in short bursts and walk for a length of time. Those long walks on the bit have increased my horse's back strength, endurance, and it has overall helped both of us."
As the U.S.A. team changes and grows riders like Dedrick are being added to the roster. Not only are riders being added to the roster but new mounts are being added this weekend. Grade Ib rider Jonathan Wentz added NTEC Jabriel who finished 2nd in the Grade Ib division to NTEC Richter Scale. With NTEC Richter Scale, Jonathan Wentz is the High Score rider for the Team and Championahip so far with an impressive 71.515%.
Eleanor Brimmer added Carino H, Rebecca Hart is riding Lord Ludger, and Grade IV rider Mary Jordan is using two new horses for her rides. Grade Ia rider Donna Ponessa brought her Del Mar CPEDI3* horse, Otto, to Saugerties in addition to a new horse named Western Rose. "Rosey is a very young horse but she is a very willing horse," commented Ponessa. "She has a phenomenal walk that is very distinct. When you have her on the bit she really connects underneath from back to front. These positives reflected my scores today however there are always footfalls. I have only been riding Rosey a month and like Otto I am only concentrating on each moment. If I think about every footfall in each moment then the end result will occur naturally."
With 2012 approaching, many riders hope that the end result of their hard work would be a medal at the 2012 Paralympics. This weekend is also about building the team which Wendy Fryke wanted to work hard for this weekend. She explained, "I was picked to represent my grade in the team competition this weekend. I really want to excel and do my job as a team member for the U.S.A." Besides her team focus Fryke has consistently been working in Third Level dressage. "Moving into Third Level was a huge confidence builder," said Fryke. "It really made my horse and I grow and it made me understand what I was capable of. I felt that I wanted to push myself this year and it has payed off." Fryke earned her bronze medal in Third Level this year and she hopes to move into showing a few Fourth Level tests next year before the selection trials for the 2012 Paralympics.
Saturday's competition at the beautiful HITS on the Hudson show grounds, begins at 8:00 a.m. with Wendy Fryke and Lateran's freestyle leading the 31 horse and rider combinations at the 2011 NEDA Fall Festival of Dressage and 2011 USEF Para-Equestrian Dressage National Championship.
September 16, 2011 CPEDI Para-Equestrian Dressage Team Competition Results:
Judges: C- Carlos Lopez (Portugal), E- Kjell Myhre (Norway), M- Anne Prain (France)
Grade Ia: Name, Country, Horse, Total Score
1.) Donna Ponessa, USA, Otto, 66.765%
2.) Donna Ponessa, USA, Western Rose, 65.196%
3.) Robyn Andrews, CAN, Ravallo Son, 65%
4.) Jody Schloss, CAN, Inspector Rebus,64.902
5.) Robyn Andres, CAN, Fancianna, 63.922%
6.) Alexander Mitchell, BER, Guiness Maskell, 60.588%
7.) Kim Decker, USA, Dasher's Destiny, 60.392%
8.) Laura Goldman, USA, NTEC Daytona Beach, 59.608%
9.) Brenda French Wyss, USA, NTEC Manchada, 59.118%
Grade Ib: Name, Country, Horse, Total Score
1.) Jonathan Wentz, USA, NTEC Richter Scale 71.515%
2.) Jonathan Wentz, USA, NTEC Jabriel, 64.697%
3.) Laurietta Oakleaf, USA, Niekele Fan Busenitz, 57.652%
4.) Laurietta Oakleaf, USA, Quimerico KF, 55.455%
Grade II: Name, Country, Horse, Total Score
1.) Dale Dedrick, USA , Bonifatius, 70.079%
2.) Maria Fernada Otheguy, MEX, One Night Stand, 66.825%
3.) Rebecca Hart, USA, Lord Ludger, 65.317%
4.) Elizabeth Pigott, USA, Whitney's Willow, 65.079%
5.) Charlotte Bathalon, USA, Sportsfield Twist, 62.381%
Grade III: Name, Country, Horse, Total Score
1.) Wendy Fryke, USA, Lateran, 66.728%
2.) Erin Alberda, USA, Pavalina, 62,901%
3.) Stephanie Ross, CAN, Wiesenblute, 61.914$
4.) Eleanor Brimmer, USA, Carino H, 53.580%
5.) Eleanore Brimmer, USA, Vadico Interagro, 51.852%
Grade IV: Name, Country, Horse, Total Score
1.) James Dwyer, IRL, Orlando, 69.271%
2.) Lynne Poole, CAN, Frisbee, 64.271%
3.) Mary Jordan, USA, Sebastian, 64.219%
4.) Robin Brueckmann, USA, Radetzky, 63.438%
5.) Mary Jordan, USA, P. Sparrow Socks 62.552%
6.) Madison Lawson, CAN, McGuire, 62.188%
7.) Frederick Win, USA, Kaboom, 55.260%